Meal Planning = A Gold Mine Find

I'm more humbled and excited than I've been in many moons. 

Speaking of which, the moon was full and orange this morning as I walked to class. I still embarrass myself by taking pictures with my phone and sending pics of a tiny dot in the sky and telling people, "you can't tell, but the moon was amazing this morning." Why do I keep trying....? I'm technology's B*!$%.

 Pic by Jim Berneike .......obviousy not my picture taken this morning. I wish. Gash, I miss red mountains.

Pic by Jim Berneike .......obviousy not my picture taken this morning. I wish. Gash, I miss red mountains.

I'm only a week or two into this experiment, but I'm so excited I have to share now:

I'm a new convert to the religion of meal planning - Cooksmart's gospel, to be specific. 

I have always promoted meal planning, to clients and friends that asked for nutrition guidance. Honestly, I held myself above it. I thought it was for the weak, those who didn't like to grocery shop (and I LOVE to grocery shop. Sprouts and me have a love affair), and those who are afraid of cooking. I'm none of those things, so I assumed I was just above the need. 

I was dead wrong. 

For a class assignment, my professor challenged us to try a meal planning website/app for two weeks. I've been in somewhat of a cooking rut lately, so I decided I would actually do this assignment, instead of pretend....not that I would ever do that.... ;).

Reasons this is the best thing and you should try it immediately:

  • It plans your meals. I know you're thinking, "no, really Sherlock?" But I hadn't properly given credit to the stress that lifts when you don't have to think everyday about what your dinner plans are. 
  • It gives you a comprehensive grocery list. Not only that, it breaks down the grocery list for you into produce, meat, dairy, spices, etc. It also allows you to check off things you already have so you don't buy two of something.
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  • Gave a ton of new veggies and spices to try, none of which were intimidating or weird. 
  • Also gave me confidence to try some new recipes and combinations I would have never come up with on my own. It's interesting just how easily I slip into the same foods everyday. Food/cooking rut be damned!
  • There are videos that show you how to cook things you're unsure about, and my favorite are the videos that show you how to most efficiently chop veggies. Onions are forever changed in my eyes
  • The meals are delightfully healthy and nutrient dense. You can also make the recipes gluten-free, vegetarian, etc. 
  • They've all turned out delicious. That's right. SUPER YUMMY. Could be the use of spices, veggie combos, I don't know. But I'm drooling just thinking about the mango, tofu, yellow curry and quinoa dish I made last night. 

I don't know, maybe I'm the last one aboard this no-brainer train. All I can say is I'm glad I'm finally on track. I think this is such a good tool, and the resources out there are so great these days. 

If you have a meal planning app/website/tool that you love, share! I would love to know what else is great out there that people are using. 

Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes:). Good luck!